Introduction : Japanese Employment System and "Black Corporation"(<Special Report>How to Tackle Youth Exploitation at Workplaces : Possibility of Social Network)


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  • 日本的雇用関係と「ブラック企業」(小特集趣旨,<小特集>若者「使い捨て」企業問題にどう取り組むか-社会的ネットワークの可能性)


Exploitation of young workforce is a historically repeated phenomenon, but, as of the latter half of 2000s, the so-called "black corporation" problem has apparently displayed a new characteristic in Japan. The Japanese employment system during the postwar period, which was based on the combination of dedication to the company through long working hours and its reward of lifetime security, has changed under the influence of neoliberalism and deregulations. Following the government's failure to change the working hour system for individual and family life around 1990, the Japanese employment system has weakened the long-term security on one hand and strengthened the severe devotion to achievements through long working hours on the other. This study firstly examines the number of black corporation belonging to the service sector and the amount of young workforce being employed in this sector, particularly in restaurants and retail stores. Next, the study analyses the difference in the skill formation between the manufacturing industry, which has been the core of the Japanese employment system, and the service industry, where a newcomer can sometimes promptly progress to be the main staff or the superintendent of a shop. Moreover, characteristics of management style are different. In the service industry, employees are motivated to develop a dream or a challenge to integrate them into the long hour working, while in the manufacturing industry, employees are trained for longterm skill formation. To prevent the exploitation of young people from becoming cheap and disposable workforce, this study suggests more efforts should be made to combine the various broad social networks to constitute legal and social regulations for the humane basic working hours, which are independent of skill formation and motivation management.



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